We sat down with TV Pilot Open Topic Contest 1st Prize Winner Gary Brennan to discuss “The Convent”
Gary Brennan is an established actor, screenwriter, and playwright known for working on notable projects such as Molly’s Game, Designated Survivor, and The Boys. Gary’s Screenplay The Convent received first prize in Open Screenplay’s Open Topic TV Pilot Contest.
In his own words, Gary describes The Convent as “a one hour limited TV series suspense drama set in 1942 Halifax, Nova Scotia in which Catholic priest Father Jamieson returns from the battlefields of Europe to discover the war has followed him home.”
Having grown up in the Canadian Maritimes near a seaport where the war stories spread like folklore, Gary has dreamed of this story his whole life. Despite being narrowly missed by 20th Century Fox nearly ten years ago when the script was a feature film, Gary has returned to the misty beauty of Canada’s Atlantic coast to share The Convent once again, this time, with Open Screenplay. When asked what brought him back to this tale time and time again, Gary said:
“The time and the place were so life-affecting for people. I mean, it was an anthem… Life changes in a nanosecond, and it was a time and place where life was changing in a nanosecond. From people receiving news about people they’d lost, to people making decisions, to being stuck to the radio hearing about the dramas that were taking place. But it was also a time where people really jumped into life and enjoyed it.”
Gary encourages new writers to take the plunge and submit their work.
“What are you doing here? Right? If you want to write, write. So what’s the next step? You gotta get your voice out there. You’ve got something to share, have the courage of your convictions, and screenplay competitions are a part of that. It’s a vetting process if you’re lucky enough to have someone to read it, to give you a clear perspective. Then it’s about the skill of developing it, and throwing it out there is part of being- from my point of view, anyway- part of the joy and part of the requirement and responsibility of being a writer. And so, I didn’t have a good enough reason not to throw it into Open Screenplay.”
Open Screenplay is currently promoting The Convent for possible production.
To learn about and participate in one of our screenwriting contests for a chance to get paid and produced, visit our Contests Page!
Read more of winner’s journey with Open Screenplay: